How to Encrypt App Contants & Strings in iOS Apps

Last updated March 3, 2024 by Appdome

Learn to Prevent Data Breaches in iOS apps, in mobile CI/CD with a Data-Driven DevSecOps™ build system.

What are Data Breaches?

Using Appdome’s Strings and Resources Encryption you can easily encrypt all strings (such as CFStrings) in iOS apps. This feature greatly enhances the security of the app against malicious attempts to read the app’s contents or harvest valuable data about mobile users.

Appdome is a no-code mobile app security platform designed to add security features, like strings and resource encryption to Android and iOS apps without coding.  This KB shows mobile developers, DevSec and security professionals how to use Appdome’s simple ‘click to build’ user interface to quickly and easily protect sensitive data in iOS apps. 

Why Prevent Data Breaches in iOS Apps?

Why do we need to encrypt App Constants & Strings in iOS Apps?

The soft belly of any application is the thing that can be easily understood from the application without using specialized tools. The top two in the list are:

  1. Strings: Human-readable words, phrases, URLs, tokens, passwords etc…
  2. Resources: Images, audio, video, and anything that’s easy to double-click on a PC.

Anyone can unpack a .ipa file, and snoop around, which those files above mentioned can be opened or read (images, movies, audio snippets and the occasional plist or db file).

Prerequisites for Using Encrypt Strings and Resources:

To use Appdome’s mobile app security build system to Prevent Data Breaches , you’ll need:

Prevent Data Breaches on iOS apps using Appdome

On Appdome, follow these 3 simple steps to create self-defending iOS Apps that Prevent Data Breaches without an SDK or gateway:

  1. Upload the Mobile App to Appdome.

    1. Upload an app to Appdome’s Mobile App Security Build System

    2. Upload Method: Appdome Console or DEV-API
    3. iOS Formats: .ipa
    4. Encrypt Strings and Resources Compatible With: Obj-C, Java, Swift, Flutter, React Native, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more
  2. Build the feature: Encrypt Strings and Resources.

    1. Building Encrypt Strings and Resources by using Appdome’s DEV-API:

      1. Create and name the Fusion Set (security template) that will contain the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature as shown below:
      2. fusion set that contains Encrypt Strings and Resources

        Figure 1: Fusion Set that will contain the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature
        Note: Naming the Fusion Set to correspond to the protection(s) selected is for illustration purposes only (not required).

      3. Follow the steps in Sections 2.2.1-2.2.2 of this article, Building the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature via Appdome Console, to add the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature to this Fusion Set.

      4. Open the Fusion Set Detail Summary by clicking the “...” symbol on the far-right corner of the Fusion Set, as shown in Figure 1 above, and get the Fusion Set ID from the Fusion Set Detail Summary (as shown below): fusion Set Detail Summary image

        Figure 2: Fusion Set Detail Summary
        Note: Annotating the Fusion Set to identify the protection(s) selected is optional only (not mandatory).

      5. Follow the instructions below to use the Fusion Set ID inside any standard mobile DevOps or CI/CD toolkit like Bitrise, App Center, Jenkins, Travis, Team City, Circle CI or other system:
        1. Build an API for the app – for instructions, see the tasks under Appdome API Reference Guide
        2. Look for sample APIs in Appdome’s GitHub Repository
    2. Building the Encrypt Strings and Resources feature via Appdome Console

      To build the Encrypt Strings and Resources protection by using Appdome Console, follow the instructions below.

      1. Where: Inside the Appdome Console, go to Build > Security Tab > TOTALData™ Encryption section.
      2. When you select the Encrypt Strings and Resources you'll notice that your Fusion Set you created in step 2.1.1 now bears the icon of the protection category that contains Encrypt Strings and Resources

        Fusion Set applied Encrypt Strings and Resources

        Figure 4: Fusion Set that displays the newly added Encrypt Strings and Resources protection

      3. Click Build My App at the bottom of the Build Workflow (shown in Figure 3).
    Congratulations!  The Encrypt Strings and Resources protection is now added to the mobile app

Using Threat-Events™ for Data Breaches Intelligence and Control in iOS Apps

Appdome Threat-Events™ provides consumable in-app mobile app attack intelligence and defense control when Data Breaches are detected. To consume and use Threat-Events™ for Data Breaches in iOS Apps, use AddObserverForName in Notification Center, and the code samples for Threat-Events™ for Data Breaches shown below.

The specifications and options for Threat-Events™ for Data Breaches are:

Threat-Event™ Elements Prevent Data Breaches Method Detail
Appdome Feature Name Encrypt Strings and Resources
Threat-Event Mode
OFF, IN-APP DEFENSE Appdome detects, defends and notifies user (standard OS dialog) using customizable messaging.
ON, IN-APP DETECTION Appdome detects the attack or threat and passes the event in a standard format to the app for processing (app chooses how and when to enforce).
ON, IN-APP DEFENSE Uses Appdome Enforce mode for any attack or threat and passes the event in a standard format to the app for processing (gather intel on attacks and threats without losing any protection).
Certified Secure™ Threat Event Check x
Visible in ThreatScope™ x
Developer Parameters for Preventing Data Breaches Threat-Event™
Threat-Event NAME
Threat-Event DATA reasonData
Threat-Event CODE reasonCode
Threat-Event REF
Threat-Event SCORE
currentThreatEventScore Current Threat-Event score
threatEventsScore Total Threat-events score
Threat-Event Context Keys
message Message displayed for the user on event
externalID The external ID of the event which can be listened via Threat Events
osVersion OS version of the current device
deviceModel Current device model
deviceManufacturer The manufacturer of the current device
fusedAppToken The task ID of the Appdome fusion of the currently running app
kernelInfo Info about the kernel: system name, node name, release, version and machine.
carrierPlmn PLMN of the device
deviceID Current device ID
reasonCode Reason code of the occured event
buildDate Appdome fusion date of the current application
devicePlatform OS name of the current device
carrierName Carrier name of the current device
updatedOSVersion Is the OS version up to date
timeZone Time zone
deviceFaceDown Is the device face down
locationLong Location longitude conditioned by location permission
locationLat Location latitude conditioned by location permission
locationState Location state conditioned by location permission
wifiSsid Wifi SSID
wifiSsidPermissionStatus Wifi SSID permission status

With Threat-Events™ enabled (turned ON), iOS developers can get detailed attack intelligence and granular defense control in iOS applications and create amazing user experiences for all mobile end users when Data Breaches are detected.

The following is a code sample for native iOS apps, which uses all values in the specification above for Encrypt Strings and Resources:

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites to build secured iOS Apps by using Encrypt Strings and Resources. There is no SDK and no library to code or implement in the app and no gateway to deploy in your network. All protections are built into each app and the resulting app is self-defending and self-protecting.

Releasing and Publishing Mobile Apps with Encrypt Strings and Resources

After successfully securing your app by using Appdome, there are several available options to complete your project, depending on your app lifecycle or workflow. These include:

If you have any questions, please send them our way at or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

Thank you!

Thanks for visiting Appdome! Our mission is to secure every app on the planet by making mobile app security easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project.

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